Si View Parks gets Large Grant to preserve iconic Tollgate Farmhouse; Looks to Bring Sustainable Farming to Property

Si View Parks District sees a future for the large Tollgate Farm Park property – one beyond the extensive walking path and new playground it recently installed on 410-acre farm property and open space that is owned and operated through its partnership with the City of North Bend.

It sees a future with sustainable farming and play fields, making Tollgate Farm Park a true community gathering place.

But other steps come first according to Travis Stombaugh, Si View Metropolitan Parks Executive Director.  The first step is rehabilitating and restoring the iconic Tollgate Farmhouse that was built around 1890 and sits adjacent to SR 202 near North Bend.

Si View Parks recently received $150,000 from the King County Saving Landmarks grant program, which Stombaugh said should be enough to make improvements to preserve the exterior of the historic, but rundown, farmhouse. Stombaugh isn’t sure yet what it will cost to rehab the building’s interior, but they are putting together an estimate for future grant applications.

Tollgate Farming Future Envisioned

Separate from the Tollgate Farmhouse rehab project is the feasibility planning Si View Parks just launched to possibly bring a sustainable farming model to the farm portion of the property in the future.

Stombaugh said the feasibility planning is only in its infancy, described as “entertaining ideas to put the land back in to production.”

To examine what farming might be possible, Si View is meeting with agricultural specialists to see what can be done with the Tollgate property – AND what kind of infrastructure investment is required to go along side that practical farming model.

Si View envisions herd gazing of the property’s open space to continue, which helps to naturally maintain the land. They also envision incubator CSA’s (Community Shared Agriculture) and maybe running a storefront out of the Tollgate Farmhouse, adding a direct farmer-to-market distribution avenue.

There are other longterm ideas, too, like incorporating education and recreation programming and diversifying the farming to include future egg and meat chickens, pork and lamb – and possibly using Meadowbrook for the animal’s hay.

Stombaugh said they don’t know if the ideas are feasible yet, but they’re examining the possibilities. He added, “We wouldn’t see ourselves in the business of farming, but more stewards of the property. Each piece of the farming would be provided by an independent contractor. ”

For Si View Parks, Tollgate Farm Park could potentially be a piece of property with lots of diversified programming: on one end soccer games and kids playing on the playground – then walking the trail to the other corner and where crops would grow and be available for purchase from a storefront.

Stombaugh described Tollgate Farm as having the potential to be “healthy living all on one piece of property.”  He added, “I think it has the potential to be pretty special.”

Sustainable Farming Models in Action

Lake Oswego Oregon has incorporated such a model with Luscher Farm, a former dairy farm that the city purchased in 1990, where the property and buildings are maintained “as an agricultural example with the intent to interpret and educate interested visitors in local food and organic plant production.”

Luscher Farm is now home to a variety of organic and sustainable gardening and farming programs operated by Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation, a local CSA organization and gardening groups.

You can find out more about Si View Parks by visiting www.siviewpark.org

 

Tollgate Farmhouse, which sits on Si View Parks District Tollgate Farm Park property. The City of North Bend owns the land and Si View operates the property as a park.

Tollgate Farmhouse, built around 1890 and sits on Si View Parks District Tollgate Farm Park property. The City of North Bend owns the land and Si View operates the property as a park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Charles Ray says

    This sounds like great idea for sure. So good to see this type of thinking going into action!!

  2. This is exacly why I LOVE Snoqulmie Valley!

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